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from Drudge Report

Skakel: `You've got the wrong guy' By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, 3/14/2000 16:52

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) After nearly 25 years, Dorthy Moxley and the Kennedy nephew accused of murdering her daughter faced each other in court for the first time Tuesday. ''You've got the wrong guy,'' Michael Skakel told Mrs. Moxley.

Skakel, now 39, was arraigned as a juvenile in the October 1975 killing of Martha Moxley. Both Skakel and Martha Moxley were 15 at the time.

In a simple, four-minute court appearance, Skakel heard the charge read aloud and was advised of his rights. Skakel was charged with being a juvenile delinquent ''based on an underlying charge of murder.''

A moment later, he stunned the crowded courtroom when he walked over to Mrs. Moxley, seated in the front row, and told her, ''Dorthy, I feel your pain, but you've got the wrong guy.''

Mrs. Moxley did not respond.

''We'll find out in court,'' Martha's brother, John, told Skakel.

Afterward, John Moxley said Skakel's comment was ''just for himself just theater.''

''I think for 24 years, they've thought they're above the law,'' he said of the Skakels. ''We're going to find out now.''

Mrs. Moxley said Skakel's remark sounded rehearsed and made no difference to her.

''I really feel as though I know what happened,'' she said.

Defense lawyer Michael Sherman said Skakel was sincere.

''Michael Skakel has no idea who killed Martha Moxley. If he did, he'd be the first one to tell the state's attorney,'' Sherman said.

Michael Skakel is the son of Rushton Skakel Sr., who is the brother of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel.

The Skakels and the Moxleys were neighbors in an exclusive enclave in upscale Greenwich, Conn. Martha was beaten to death the night of Oct. 30, 1975, with a golf club later traced to a set owned by the Skakels.

Skakel, who did not enter a plea during the appearance Tuesday, has denied any involvement in her death.

Bridgeport State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict said it will take at least a year for the case to go to trial.

''It's a 25-year-old case. I don't think it was handed to the state on a silver platter here, but we did an awful lot of work in the case, we developed an awful lot of evidence in the grand jury, and I'm looking forward to trying it,'' Benedict said.

A ''reasonable cause'' hearing, when prosecutors must prove that there is enough evidence to proceed with the case, is scheduled for June 20.

Moxley's case was reopened after more than two decades when an investigative grand jury was appointed in June 1998. The appointment followed the publication of books about the case, including one by former Los Angeles police Detective Mark Fuhrman.

Fuhrman, who gained notoriety during the O.J. Simpson trial for racist remarks, has been hired by ABC to provide commentary on the case.

He identified Michael Skakel as the likely killer in his book. Prosecutors deny that Fuhrman's book had any influence on their investigation.

Before the court session Tuesday, Fuhrman blamed police mistakes and deference to the wealthy Skakel family for the delay in making an arrest.

''You walk into a house with a chandelier in the foyer that costs more than your whole house, that's intimidating,'' he said.

Because of confidentiality laws surrounding juvenile cases, Skakel's arraignment would normally have been closed to the public. But Judge Maureen Dennis, acting on a request from five newspapers and The Associated Press, last week agreed to open the proceeding.

Dennis found that Skakel had effectively waived his confidentiality rights, both because he is an adult and because his name and the charges against him were already well-known.

On the Net: The Connecticut Judicial Branch Web site:

-- suzy (, March 14, 2000


Let me see...she was beaten to death with one of his golf clubs...but, at the time, police could not find enough evidence... hmmmmm

-- viewer (, March 14, 2000.

It's about time. Thanks suzy

-- gilda (, March 14, 2000.

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